Don't pillage the Plunge
I really don't want the Plunge to be logged because it is my favourite trail and my sister and my parents like it too. It is also home to lots of animals and it is beautiful! It is also fun for bikers and fun-loving hikers like me.
I love the tall trees and the rainforest look because I have never been anywhere tropical.
Soplease don't log the Plunge!
Metta Bruun, Age 9
Save the Ashlu - again
RE: Ledcor's re application for re-zoning the Ashlu
The provincial government has proposed a deal to the Squamish Lillooet Regional District to trade conditional protection on some rivers and streams for a re-zoning approval on the Ashlu River, permitting a Ledcor private power plant. The entire region has already spoken in opposition on this issue and I support the SLRD as they re-visit the question on Monday. A year ago, a two and a half year public process was concluded by the SLRD with a 8-1 vote against the private power proposal. The District of Squamish also voted against this project. I oppose the re-opening of this application as the public has already spoken.
The Ashlu is a huge tourism asset. People come from around the world to kayak this river. The Ashlu Festival is the largest whitewater festival in Canada. If Squamish is the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada, we can't be putting power plants on every river, where are people going to recreate?
There are 27 independent power plants approved in the SLRD, 44 more coming and half a dozen already running.
The Ashlu has been saved from the development once - let's keep it that way for all time.
SLRD right on on Ashlu
RE: The Ashlu
The Ashlu is under attack again by Ledcor who has re-applied to re-zone for a private waterpower operation.
The Squamish Lillooet Regional Board (SLRD) policy on IPPs asked the provincial government for a moratorium on water licenses a year ago, until a proper provincial regional plan is put in place.
The province's response is to make a proposal to the SLRD to re-open and fast-track the Ashlu.
The SLRD has done an exhaustive job around the whole issue of power production and needs the support of everyone in the Sea to Sky corridor. There are already six or more of these run of river power projects like the Rutherford Project currently operating and 44 on the way according to the licence applications currently on file. There are over 400 of these projects in the application process province wide.
Our rivers are endangered and are being licensed to private hands at an alarming rate. Maude Barlow of the Council Of Canadians is quoted as saying, "The growing fresh water crisis is perhaps the most urgent environmental and human rights issue of our time" and water must be preserved as a common heritage. She also says, "privatization of fresh water resources represents a threat to human rights."
The SLRD policy is the best approach we have at this time and we in the community support it and the work of the regional board.
Upper Squamish Valley
Keep the power public
The Ledcor Ashlu IPP rezoning should be rejected again for all the same good reasons of community, recreational and tourism values that still apply as they did in January 2005.
And in rejecting the rezoning, SLRD directors should rest easy that they are also standing up for the greater good of the all businesses and families in British Columbia as well. Because despite the insinuation of the catch phrase "We need the power" constantly used by IPP proponents and Ministry of Energy, which is helping them force the rezoning, this electrical power is ultimately not for British Columbians. After a brief contract with BC Hydro which quickly recovers all the capital costs of the project, private power can be sold to the North American market for many times our B.C. prices, using our own transmission lines to facilitate the export.
Thus IPPs alienate both economical power and the power sites from British Columbians forever. Every major government and private power player in the current confrontation with the SLRD is aware of the intent to export, because of the vastly higher price that the US market pays, and yet they continue to pretend that this power is for B.C.
There can be no question in their minds that there is a phenomenal profit to be made exporting this power, or holding us to ransom to buy back our own resources at North American rates in the very near future.
That is precisely why the stakes are so high in the current rezoning application, and it is also precisely why the application should be refused again.
It's perfectly fine and proper for Ledcor to provide staffing and other support for Premier Gordon Campbell's election campaign as they have done, but nothing justifies giving away, to any company, any of our run-of-the-river power sites worth tens of millions of dollars of power for the paltry $10,000 water licence fee currently charged without any public bidding process - and that includes the jewel of them all, the Ashlu, which should particularly be preserved for its community, recreational and tourism values.
The SLRD and the people of this province need a proper planning process for our future power needs, and a return to public power, the "powerhouse" of the British Columbia economy.